Blog Post 3: Video Games Being Art?

In, “Why Can’t We Make Another Shadow of the Colossus?” Amanda Lange, she brings up the famed movie critic Roger Egbert saying, “To my knowledge, no one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers. That a game can aspire to artistic importance as a visual experience, I accept. But for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic.”

Is it a requirement for something to be classified as art to be comparable to dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists, and composers?  Take for example the cave drawings found in southern France.  This worklascauxbulls was not made by any kinds of the people Egbert mentions, yet it is still considered art in many circles.  The cave drawings are their own form of art.  So what stops the existence of a video game art genre?  Why can’t games like Final Fantasy VII, Halo 4, and Ocarina of Time be considered their own genre of art?  Trivially, they can be considered their own genre.

Egbert also implies that video games do not advanced culture.  As we have discussed in class, this is simply not the case.  Take for example the league of legends fan base, and their creations.  The fans here have collaborated collectively to produce these artistic works, inspired by the video game.  As the Oxford dictionary states the definition of culture to be “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively,” the League of Legends artistic community most certainly fulfills this criteria.

Roger Egbert may be considered an authoritative source on movie criticism in many circles, but his opinion on video games and art and culture is inaccurate.

Note for Professor Stabile:  I attempted to post this last night, when I woke up in the morning I found that it didn’t post and most of the text from the post was missing.  I hope I don’t end up making a repost.

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One Response to Blog Post 3: Video Games Being Art?

  1. cstabile says:

    Got it, J. I think you mean “Ebert,” and not “Egbert,” but your point is nonetheless a compelling one. Ironically, Ebert’s attitude toward video games is much the same as cultural critics’ attitudes toward film in its early days.

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